During adolescence, teens are faced with many challenges. These can range from academic failure, bullying, and peer pressure to sexual or physical abuse, and family problems.
If your teen is struggling and experiencing a crisis, it may be time to seek help. Getting professional help can reduce your teenager’s symptoms and prevent more serious issues from occurring in the future.
What is a crisis?
A crisis is an event or time that can cause a sudden, negative change in a person’s life. This may include physical or mental health issues, family issues, school problems, financial challenges or a breakdown in a relationship.
A crisis situation can be scary and exhausting for everyone involved. It is important to be able to recognize that you or your child are in a crisis so that you can get help quickly and effectively.
Often a mental health condition can make a crisis situation more likely and even when you have all the right supports services and treatment in place a crisis can still occur.
A crisis is a juncture in a person’s life that will make a critical difference to their future and can be very difficult for them to cope with. A crisis can be a positive or negative time in a person’s life depending on how they are dealing with it.
What causes a crisis?
Many of the challenges youth face today are rooted in socio-political realities. Issues like climate change, systemic racism, and gun violence can be especially difficult for teens to navigate and can have a negative impact on their mental health.
Rather than focus on one cause, experts say the causes of crisis in youth should be examined across multiple factors. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, is often cited as the primary reason for the youth mental health crisis, but research shows that teens were facing issues long before it.
Fortunately, youth are resilient, and mental health issues can be addressed by connecting them to supportive schools, families, peers and community organizations. These approaches can help prevent a variety of other problems, including substance use and violence. But we need to ensure that youth in crisis are able to receive the appropriate, well-informed and effective behavioral health crisis services that they deserve. These services should be available at home and in the community whenever possible, rather than in the hospital or in the justice system.
What can I do?
When a youth is in crisis, they may be struggling with intense emotions, such as fear, sadness, or anger. They may also be engaging in harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm.
If your teen is experiencing a crisis, it’s important to seek help from mental health professionals. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that best meets your teenager’s needs and goals.
They can also provide guidance and support to your family, helping you to understand how to respond if your teen becomes overwhelmed or begins to exhibit other warning signs.
You can also take steps to help your teen cope with their crisis at home, such as ensuring they have nutritious meals, enough sleep, and an outlet for their emotions. By focusing on these things, you can help your teen stay strong and focused. It’s also important to remember that their recovery is a process, not a quick fix.
What should I do?
Teens are more likely to notice mental health warning signs from others in their lives than adults, so it’s crucial for you to have a plan in place in case your child ever feels like they need help. This will allow you to get them the help they need before it gets too severe and make sure your other children in your home are safe during a crisis.
You should also encourage your teen to seek help as soon as they feel they need it. This will help them get through the crisis faster and make the recovery process more manageable.
A teen in crisis needs treatment as quickly as possible to avoid long-term damage. This can mean individual therapy, family therapy, medication or a combination of these treatments. A comprehensive mental health assessment will help you understand your teen’s unique needs and treatment options. This can lead to an effective treatment plan that will help your teen heal and build the resilience they need to thrive.